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Sometimes a player can be overly flattered by statisitics. And sometimes the numbers probably don't capture everything that a player contributes to a game. Ellen Molloy's debut in the Women's National League falls into the latter category.

There had been hype throughout the pre-season about the teenager after a couple of her goals for the Republic of Ireland Women's Under-17s went viral on social media. Yet, it was always going to be a big step up to line out for Wexford Youths. She made it look easy.

The stats sheet reads as follows:
94 minutes played
2 goals scored
1 assist
7 shots on target
17 dribbles with the ball
74% pass accuracy

Pretty impressive stuff, especially for a debut in a 4-1 victory over Bohemians. Yet, anyone who watched the game - either in Ferrycarrig Park or via the live stream provided by Wexford - will have noticed a lot more from the Kilkenny native.

There were clever drops of the shoulder, neat side-steps, well-timed runs, simple but affective short passes, and a work ethic that rubbished any theories that she can only play when attacking (she completed eight recoveries of the ball during the game).

It's easy to get overly excited when watching a special talent do their thing in a one-off game, but Molloy is only getting started. Cutting in from the left side of midfield, she has a lot still to learn about mastering that role and understanding what manager Tom Elmes expects of her in each game. The good news, however, is that she's a willing learner.

The former Thomastown United youngster has showed that she can take instructions onboard and deliver on the pitch whilst being part of a team. It's no good if she becomes a solo act because this is a team sport, but Ireland Women's Under-17 Head Coach James Scott doesn't believe there is any chance of that happening.

"For a number of years now she has been doing really well and it's no surprise at how she started with Wexford, she was training with them for the best part of a year. She's well able to play at Women's National League level," said Scott.

"She looks like she's been playing in the National League for five years. She takes everything in her stride, she is never really phased by anything, she just goes out and plays, which is great to see. She always plays with a smile on her face, it doesn't matter if it's Gaynor Cup Under-13 or Women's National League."

The debut performance for Wexford will have alerted every manager & player in the League to her ability, so expect a lot of close attention to be given to the Presentation Secondary School, Kilkenny student as the season rolls on. Scott, though, doesn't think that will make much of a difference.

"Ellen is obviously left-footed and I'm sure teams will go in with the intention of 'put her on her right foot'. But as we saw against Bohemians, she scored her two goals with her right foot," he said.

"She will get more coverage but that will help her to adapt her game. It's already started to happen as teams that we would have come up against would have prepared for her but it was still very hard for them to stop her.

"She knows when to play, when to go past someone, and when to play fast with one or two touches. When you have a player like that with such good awareness that makes her very difficult for the opposition to mark.

"I think she is a bit of an all-rounder. She is a bit like (Lionel) Messi, she has that bit of magic...you're watching her thinking 'what's she going to do next?' She is unpredictable and that is why she will always be difficult to mark."

Comparsions with a Barcelona superstar are only the start of it. Molloy is truly a special talent and if you can get the opportunity to watch her live in action then jump at it because she is thoroughly entertaining to watch in full flow.